Human Services

Family Lives on Foundation

  • Lionville, PA
  • www.familyliveson.org

Mission Statement

Family Lives On Foundation's mission is to support the lifelong emotional well-being of children and teens whose mother or father has died, and, to increase awareness of the impact of grief and loss on a child.

The Tradition Program provides virtual, ongoing, therapeutic support, meeting children and teens where they are, creating a safe haven for grief, communication, and celebration.

Main Programs

  1. Tradition Fulfillment Services
  2. Outreach and Bereavement Education
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

The Tradition Program is available throughout the United States. At this time there is a waitlist for new enrollments.

ruling year

1998

Chief Executive Officer since 2017

Self-reported

Kelly Becker

Keywords

Self-reported

bereavement, death of parent, children's grief, bereaved children, bereavement education, child's grieving, child grieving, child mourning, children mourning, children grieving,

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Also Known As

Family Lives On

EIN

23-2929922

 Number

1269687333

Physical Address

582 Wharton Blvd

Exton, PA 19341

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

More than two million children and teens in the US are grieving the deaths of their moms or dads. Family Lives On Foundation's groundbreaking Tradition FulfillmentSM program helps these young people and their families continue cherished traditions as a therapeutic tool that enables them to move beyond the death story to celebrate the life story of the loved one who has died. Serving children once a year, every year, until they are 18, the Tradition Fulfillment program supports grieving children as they mature and reach developmental milestones. The rigor of ongoing support is pivotal in increasing stability and security in a child's life.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Tradition Fulfillment Services

More than two million children and teens in the US are grieving the deaths of their moms or dads. Family Lives On Foundation's groundbreaking Tradition Fulfillment program helps these young people and their families continue cherished traditions as a therapeutic tool that enables them to move beyond the death story to celebrating the life story of the loved one who has died. This is healing. This is hope. And, this is critical because these children are at a much greater risk for psychological and behavioral problems, and are more likely to spend time in jail than their non-bereaved peers. Conversely, if given support tools like our Tradition Fulfillment services, these same children and their families are more likely to move from being survivors to thrivers. Bereavement expert Alicia S. Franklin, LICSW, GMS, states: "This Tradition Fulfillment program provides an opportunity to activate the memories, not just speak of them. The experiential engagement of the activity utilizes all five senses and can be a more powerful healing tool to help move a child through grief to healing. The program is also family based rather than support group oriented. It is child directed, not other focused. It is designed and fulfilled as the grieving child directs, not as someone else determines. it is truly a life-focusing and child-centered intervention. It represent the very best of child-focused bereavement support services." In order to provide our critical services, we rely on generous contributions from strategic partners to fund capacity-building initiatives that will allow us to support thousands of grieving children and their families.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 2

Outreach and Bereavement Education

The purposes of our bereavement education materials are to provide a foundation for people to understand healthy bereavement and information about circumstances when additional resources might be helpful. Our bereavement education materials for grieving young people and their loved ones are available on our website and in social media. www.familyliveson.org.

Our materials explain the range of emotions and other responses that a grieving child might be experiencing, offer helpful suggestions as to whom a child can turn with related questions and issues, offer ways in which children can remember their mothers and fathers, describe bereavement so those in a child's life can understand and provide support, and identify behaviors that indicate a child might need additional help.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Family Lives On's mission is to bring joy and comfort to grieving children, teens and their families by helping them continue cherished traditions. The death of a parent changes internal family dynamics and may result in greater isolation among family members if this change is ignored and new methods of communicating are not developed. Currently, the majority of bereavement support services offer programs for individual family members outside the context of family life, rather than for family units at home.

    Our program is the only bereavement support tool that serves a child once a year, each year, until the child is 18 years old. The longevity and continuity of our services nurture and sustain family connections, including with the loved one who has died, throughout the child's developmental process. The individualized and self-directed nature of our program empowers children and their families to use a lifelong bereavement support tool that helps them honor the past, celebrate the present and build the future.

    Our Tradition Fulfillment program addresses three critical and oftentimes unmet needs in child and family bereavement support, providing families with intra-family connection and communication, ongoing support (year after year) and opportunities to celebrate a loved one's life story. Bereavement expert Alicia S. Franklin, LICSW, GMS, states:
    “This Tradition Fulfillment program provides an opportunity to activate the memories, not just speak of them. The experiential engagement of the activity utilizes all 5 senses and can be a more powerful healing tool to help move a child through grief to healing. The program is also family-based rather than support group oriented. It is child-directed, not other-focused. It is designed and fulfilled as the grieving child directs, not as someone else determines. It is truly a life focusing and child-centered intervention."

    Our years of experience serving the grieving community has proved that Tradition Fulfillment is a vital therapeutic intervention. Our goal is to make our Tradition Fulfillment program available to more grieving children.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    With recent growth in the number of children we serve to over 300 our current strategy is to stabilize the organization resources to support serving the 300. Our recent implementation of a customized resource management system is the first step in that process.

    Our vision for the future includes providing tradition services for a minimum of 300 children and further developing our outreach and bereavement education efforts.

    Family Lives On receives funding from a variety of dedicated sources - special events, foundations, corporations and annual giving. We are seeking to partner with additional corporations, individuals, and foundations to help us continue to grow.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    At the core of Family Lives On's strengths are the people who ensure the consistent implementation of our Tradition Fulfillment program to the children and families currently enrolled. This includes a diverse Board of Directors, a staff that has been restructured to maximize attention on serving bereaved children, and a fully trained volunteer force committed to serving our families until each child graduates from our Tradition Fulfillment program.

    A Program Manager and a trained volunteer work with the child to identify a tradition they shared with their mother or father, and that they want to continue. They engage the child and family in child-focused manner. Each eligible child, including multiple siblings in a single family, is encouraged to articulate his or her own tradition. The children chose activities that they engaged in with the deceased parent; activities such as visiting a zoo, restaurant, amusement park or beach; cooking, shopping, gardening. Family Lives On then provides the logistical and financial resources for the family and child's annual participation in the requested tradition until the child reaches the age of 18 years.

    Our staff includes two full-time employees, one part-time employee, and two independent contractors.
    Our Program Managers oversee the volunteers as they serve the families in the program. They record and track all details of the tradition from the first interview through each delivery. They also administer volunteer training throughout the year.


  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Our families complete evaluations each year and those are tracked and measured in our customized resource management system. Family feedback is tracked and measured at two points - a phone interview to measure the effectiveness of the tradition delivery from an operational standpoint and a paper evaluation to assess the overall impact of the Tradition Fulfillment program. These evaluations are routinely reviewed to identify any areas of improvement to enhance the overall impact of the tradition celebration. For the past three years, Family Lives On has boasted a family retention rate of greater than 95%.

    Our success is measured when we have provided our Tradition Fulfillment services to grieving children, and the evaluations from the families, volunteers and Tradition Partners are positive. Another component of our success will be a family retention rate of greater than 90%.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In our first 16 years, we have fulfilled over 1,000 traditions and supported over 250 children and their families.
    Now in our current fiscal year alone we will fulfill traditions for over 300 children and their families. We have taken continual steps to reach more children through responsible growth. With the use of Skype technology, we now interview and support families that live outside of our geographic region. We have successfully migrated from serving only families whose mothers have died (Mommy's Light) to launching Daddy's Light services, where we now also support families grieving the loss of their father. That is when we then became Family Lives On Foundation. We've also implemented a customized resource management system to better enable us to support our services.

    Our biggest barrier to growing our direct services is balancing the funding for the long-term support of the families in our program, with the financial resources needed to support an influx of additional families.
    One of the most important measures of our success is in the form of qualitative feedback from those we serve. Here are a few examples of what Family Lives On families have to say:

    “I wouldn't change a thing about my tradition, the memories are too good. I can feel my mom here with us enjoying the beach, running into the water and collecting shells. . . ." – Tony, a son

    “After my mom died, I thought that it was over for us to have any relationship, but Family Lives On taught me differently and allowed me to remember my mother every year through a tradition." – Chudney, a daughter

    “This organization provides very special experiences that we would never have otherwise. My kids have stronger memories of their mom because Family Lives On presents opportunities to talk about her and the things she loved to do. . . . Family Lives On is truly a beacon of light for the men and children who suffer the loss of their wives and mothers." – Rich, a father
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

The Tradition Program is available throughout the United States. At this time there is a waitlist for new enrollments.

Social Media

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

FAMILY LIVES ON FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Family Lives on Foundation

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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Chief Executive Officer

Kelly Becker

BIO

Ms. Becker's career spans over two decades as a leader in a variety of management, marketing, and fundraising roles. She served as Director of Development at Family Lives On foundation from January 2014 - January 2017.

Early in her career, Ms. Becker served as the Associate Director of Development for the USO World Headquarters in Washington, DC. Subsequently, Ms. Becker worked abroad as International Director of Sales with the Pan Pacific Resorts – Micronesia, managing the European, Asian and North American markets.
After returning to the United States, Ms. Becker spent 7 years as Vice President of FrontLine Event Marketing, a national marketing company serving the financial and insurance industries. Ms. Becker led the daily operations of the company including the recruitment, training, and management of a national marketing sales force. Immediately prior to joining Family Lives On, Ms. Becker served as Development Officer for Montgomery School, a PreK – 8th-grade private school in Chester Springs, PA.

STATEMENT FROM THE Chief Executive Officer

"The Family Lives On (formerly Mommy's Light) Tradition Program is a unique therapeutic tool for children, teens, and families who have experienced the profound loss of the death of a parent. The Tradition Program provides virtual, ongoing, support, to grieving children. The Program meets children and teens where they are and creates a safe haven for grief, communication, and celebration. Family Lives On Foundation saw explosive growth between the years of 2013 – 2015 and now serves grieving children across the country. 2017 marks Family Lives On Foundation's 20th anniversary of serving annual traditions to grieving children and teens.

Kelly Becker, Executive Director, states, “I am very fortunate to work with our dedicated team of Board, Staff, and Volunteers during this 20th anniversary year and beyond. The bold steps we are taking today will be the catalyst in changing the lives of children and teens suffering the death of a parent, as well as shaping the way society communicates about grief and loss.""

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mike Maher

Valley Forge Financial Group

Term: Jan 2015 - June 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?